The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 11, 2012

Mike Pound: Mother’s Day advice from veteran husband

By Mike Pound

— I am no expert but I am a veteran husband, so I feel qualified to hand out advice for those husbands who are new to the world of parenting.

Don’t forget Mother’s Day, which is Sunday.

You may forget your wife’s birthday. You may forget Valentine’s Day. Heck, you may even forget your anniversary, but I am telling you as a guy who has been down this road before: Do not, under any circumstances, in no way, in no fashion, forget Mother’s Day.

I don’t know this from experience, mind you, I just know this from common, veteran husband sense. If you were to forget your wife on Mother’s Day, you would be saying that you don’t value your wife’s work as a mother, that you take what she does for granted. If you were to do that do you know what would happen?

Your life would forever change in strange and dark ways.

“Oh, so he doesn’t think much of me as a mother, eh?” your wife might say to herself. “Well then, he can start making sure the kids are dressed and fed before school. He can handle getting them to their doctor appointments, dance lessons, sporting events, parent-teacher conferences. He can remember their birthdays and he can remember their names. I’m done!”

My wife, by the way, says “I’m done!” a lot. When my wife says “I’m done!” it usually means she’s mad about something and not literally done with something. But, I’m pretty sure that if I were to forget Mother’s Day, my wife would, in fact, mean “I’m done!” when she says “I’m done.”

Remembering your wife on Mother’s Day means more than just waking up on Sunday and mumbling “Happy Mother’s Day” as you wander into the kitchen two hours after your wife wandered into the kitchen.

Remembering Mother’s Day means giving your wife a present. And not just any present. For example, a bowling ball is not a suitable Mother’s Day present, especially if your wife doesn’t bowl. Neither is any sort of item that has anything to do with the kitchen or housework a good gift. A new vacuum cleaner does not shout “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Fixing your wife a special meal on Mother’s Day is nice but only if you have some sort of kitchen experience. If you don’t, all you will do is cause your wife additional work and — depending on what you fix — send some members of your family to the emergency room.

Taking your wife out for a special Mother’s Day dinner is a good idea, but if you’re reading this and haven’t already made reservations then you’re out of luck. If you try to take your wife out for a Mother’s Day dinner without making reservations, you won’t be seated at a table until sometime Wednesday afternoon.

Also, don’t count on topping your kid’s Mother’s Day gifts. Every year in May, after kids have taken those statewide tests that everyone gets so freaked out over, they spend the rest of their classroom time making Mother’s Day gifts. Most of the time those gifts are virtually unrecognizable, but, regardless, your wife will love and cherish the lump of whatever it is from your child 10 times more than anything you give her on Mother’s Day.

Unless, of course, you give your wife a card that says:

“Dear (your wife’s name here),

“Today, I have made plans to take the kids to the park and then out to eat. We will be gone for at least six hours. Please use those six hours to do whatever you want to do. You can have the TV remote. You can have the bathroom. You can plant flowers. You can take a nap. You can read a book. This is your day.

“Love (your name here).

“P.S. What is our youngest kid’s name, again?”